It's Not about the Settlements, Stupid

The Washington Post, in its Dec. 18 edition, runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about Israel proceeding with plans "for a surge of settlement building on occupied land" ("Israel's building plans advance," page A12). "Israel's continued expansion of settlements is at the core of an impasse in peace efforts," Greenberg writes.  "The Palestinians, who seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a capital in East Jerusalem, have refused to resume negotiations with Israel unless it halts settlement building in occupied land." Greenberg is wrong on two critical points.  First, there is ample historical evidence that settlements are not an obstacle to advancing the peace process.  And, second, the land in question is not "occupied." On the first point: Israel withdrew all Jewish settlements in Sinai in exchange for a peace treaty with Egypt.  In similar fashion, Israel withdrew all Jewish settlements and more than 6,000 settlers from the...(Read Full Post)